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(09/28/07) -

Centre-Right Parties Almost Tied in Poland

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Next month’s election in Poland could see only three parties represented in the lower house, according to a poll by PBS DGA published in Gazeta Wyborcza. 30 per cent of respondents would back the opposition Civic Platform (PO), up two points since early September.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Next month’s election in Poland could see only three parties represented in the lower house, according to a poll by PBS DGA published in Gazeta Wyborcza. 30 per cent of respondents would back the opposition Civic Platform (PO), up two points since early September.

The governing Law and Justice Party (PiS) is a close second with 29 per cent, followed by the Left and Democracy (LiD) coalition with 12 per cent. Support is lower for the Self-Defence of the Polish Republic (SRP), the League of Polish Families (LPR), and the Peasant’s Party (PSL). Under the country’s proportional representation system, a party must receive at least five per cent of the vote—and a coalition at least eight per cent—to elect members.

In September 2005, voters in Poland renewed their legislative branch. Final results gave the PiS 26.9 per cent of the vote and 155 lawmakers in the 460-seat lower house. In October, economic expert Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz took over as prime minister and Lech Kaczynski won the presidential election. The coalition government included the PiS, the SRP and the LPR. In July 2006, following Marcinkiewicz’s resignation, Polish president Lech Kaczynski appointed PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski—his twin brother—as the country’s new prime minister.

In July 2007, Lech Kaczynski dismissed agricultural minister and SRP leader Andrzej Lepper over a bribery scandal. The coalition government officially collapsed on Sept. 7, when Poland’s lower house was dissolved after a 377-54 vote, in a motion called by the LiD. An early legislative ballot is scheduled for Oct. 21.

On Sept. 22, the Polish government announced that it would not allow electoral observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor the parliamentary ballot. Foreign Ministry spokesman Robert Szaniawski explained the decision, saying, "Poland rejected the proposal, underlining that Poland is a democracy. It’s a standard procedure that it is the country that invites OSCE observers for elections, so in this case OSCE made a faux pas."

On Sept. 26, prime minister Kaczynski suggested he might accept the election observers if the OSCE changes the "unfortunate" tone of its request to participate.

Polling Data

What party would you support in the next election?

 

Sept. 16

Sept. 9

Civic Platform (PO)

30%

28%

Law and Justice Party (PiS)

29%

28%

Left and Democracy (LiD)
Democratic Left Alliance (SLD)
Social Democracy of Poland (SDP)
Democratic Party of Poland (PD)
Labour Union (UP)

12%

11%

Self-Defence of the Polish Republic (SRP)

2%

5%

League of Polish Families (LPR)

2%

3%

Peasant’s Party (PSL)

2%

2%

Source: PBS DGA / Gazeta Wyborcza
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,000 Polish adults, conducted on Sept. 15 and Sept. 16, 2007. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.